Malagasy journalists call for resignation of minister By RIVONALA RAZAFISON in Antananarivo | Tuesday, May 8 2012 at 10:38
Malagasy journalists have given the country’s Minister of Communication Harry Laurent Rahajason 72 hours to leave office following the ongoing media crackdown. (READ: Protests over detained Madagascar journalists).
Mr Rahajason is one of the closest allies of President Andry Rajoelina.
They are calling for the resignation of the minister arguing that the continued media crackdown is unacceptable since Mr Rahajason himself has also been a journalist who should be in a better position to understand his colleagues.
“He has never protected journalism and the journalists,” Mr Rocco Rasoanaivo, president of the country’s Union of Journalists said.
The journalists cited the last week’s arrest of their two colleagues from a private radio station who were allegedly assaulted by security forces as a threat to freedom of press and democracy.
The journalists also called for unconditional re-opening of several media houses that were closed down by both the previous regime and the current transitional authorities.
Two years ago, police officers reportedly raided a private media house, damaged equipment, and injured journalists as some politicians watched.
The journalists reported the matter to authorities but no action has been taken to date.
Various regimes in the country have been on record for clamping down on media that are critical of the government.
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